Not that this is a diet recipe, of course -- there's plenty of cheese for us cheese hounds, and warm deliciousness for when the weather goes to crap. But it was nice to use whole wheat macaroni and slide some veggies into a dish that wasn't born that way.
I've provided the text below and the link above (commenters offered a couple tweaks I've yet to try). My own tweaks? I used ready-made breadcrumbs rather than bread, thereby eliminating step #2 of the recipe as well as a need for fresh parsley, bread, and a food processor (which I don't own). Also, I think I'd only use half the recommended Dijon the next time I make it - the mustard gave a nice tang, but I found it a bit overpowering.
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Quick tip: Using extra-sharp Cheddar lets you use less cheese without giving up flavor. Tender cauliflower adds fiber and vitamin C.
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 45m
12 ounces multigrain elbow macaroni
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped (I used frozen - our urban stores aren't so good for fresh)
4 slices multigrain bread, torn (maybe optional, if you use ready-made breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (maybe optional, if you use ready-made breadcrumbs)
3 tablespoons olive oil (maybe less, if you use ready-made breadcrumbs)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar (6 ounces)
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup 1 percent milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1) Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the cauliflower during the last 3 minutes of cooking time; drain.
2) Meanwhile, pulse the bread in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add the parsley, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and pulse to combine; set aside. (Optional step - you can use ready-made breadcrumbs.)
3) Return the pasta pot to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, just until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in the pasta, cauliflower, cheese, sour cream, milk, and mustard.
4) Transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish, sprinkle with the bread crumbs, and bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes.